Tables are only intended for tabular data, in example the nutrition panel on the side of most food products is a good example if you're in America.
If you're formatting the layout of a page you're supposed to use divisible elements. (X)HTML5 has more specific elements for layout though the browser support just is not there yet and won't be for a few more years. However you should definitely use tableless layouts.
Take this code in example...
- Code: Select all
<div style="background-color: #dff; float: left; width: 80%;"><p>content</p></div>
<div style="background-color: #ffd; float: left; width: 20%;"><p>sidebar</p></div>
To add padding you add a child divisible element and then add margins to the child, width and float only on the parent.